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Obituaries

Joe Stead - 17 June 1941 – 28 March 2017

Joe Stead passed away at the age of 75, after a brief spell in hospital close to his home in Sowerby Bridge. He was blessed with a life full of coincidences and opportunities grasped with both hands.

Eberhard “Paddy” Bort - 1954-2017

When Paddy Bort died in mid-February, I wrote in my initial tribute that a hole the size of Arthur’s Seat had appeared in the Edinburgh folk scene. Reflecting in the weeks since, as the tributes have been gathered in, it is clear that Paddy’s loss will force something of a shift in the tectonic plates of the folk scene in the city and further afield.

Michael (Mike/Mick) Ward

Michael Joseph Ward was born on the 25th November 1950 in Oakley, Fife, though, like his five siblings, he spent much of his life in Dunfermline. A highly intelligent, erudite individual, the educational institutions graced by his presence included Blairs College (near Aberdeen), The Gregorian University and The Scots College in Rome, and Glasgow University. After graduating from there, he entered the teaching profession, and for many years was a teacher of modern languages at Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline. An avid reader, he never stopped learning adding, in adulthood, the Gaelic language to his already impressive list of skills.

Ian Davison

On Christmas Day 2016, Ian Davison died. One of Scotland's most prolific and able songmakers in the traditional style, Ian, born in Glasgow in 1939, was captured for the Scottish Folk Revival by a 1957 lecture given in Glasgow’s Partick Burgh Halls by Norman Buchan, one of the three key kick-starters of the Revival. Ian went on to co-found the Glasgow University Folk Club, then to teach English with Norman in Rutherglen Academy, and co-run the Academy’s very influential folk club.

Angus R Grant - 1967-2016

It is with deep sadness we announce that Angus R Grant passed away on 9th October after a short illness. We would like to thank his doctors and the team from St Columba’s Hospice who enabled him to die peacefully at home surrounded by family and close friends. Here follows a short appreciation.

Dave Swarbrick - 5th April 1941 - 3rd June 2016

Much has been written and is still to be written about Dave Swarbrick. He was a giant figure making an impact from his first appearances as a teenager through to very recent times. His influence on Folk Rock was huge, but his most enduring musical relationship was his partnership with Martin Carthy. His musical story is well documented including features in previous issues of The Living Tradition.

Steve McGrail

Steve McGrail, who contributed to The Living Tradition both many articles and editorially for many years until 2010, died after a long illness on 11th May 2016. He had to face early onset Alzheimer’s which he did with dignity and realism. On behalf of the magazine he had interviewed a wide range of singers and instrumentalists from all over the British Isles and Eire.

Duncan MacLennan - 1937-2016

Duncan MacLennan, founder member and driving force behind Inverness Folk Club and Folk Festival for many years, died quietly on February 1st in Raigmore Hospital after a long illness.

Larry Kearns - died 28 May 2016

We are sad to hear of the death, on Sat May 28th, of Larry Kearns, original mandolin player with the Oldham Tinkers Folk Group from Lancashire. He had been suffering from cancer for the last few months, and died in Dr Kershaw's Hospice in Oldham, his home town. Although Larry was still active musically at local sessions, he hadn't played with the group for the last 25 years, having taken a step back due to a hand condition which resulted in his being replaced by Mancunian multi-instrumentalist Dave Howard.

Andy Macgregor Stewart - 8 September 1952 – 27 December 2015

The death of Andy M. Stewart on December 27th 2015 has taken from us not just an immensely talented songwriter and performer, but also one of the country’s last remaining traditional singers.